we are ALL broke.

30 03 2011

Ok, so we aren’t all individually broke….. but as a collective unit, yep, we’re broke.

As I was perusing Facebook I came across an article posted up by my friend Angela, called Going Broke. The article does a fantastic job of putting the national debt in terms easily understood.

Check it out:

“Imagine that you had an average monthly income of about $170 balanced against average monthly expenses of about $940–and that you were more than $14,000 in debt.
Then imagine that as of today, you had only $58.60 in cash left in your bank account and $130.50 left on your line of credit.
Now multiply these numbers by 1 billion and you will have the up-to-date financial situation of the U.S. government.”

Whoa. I’ve heard all kinds of commentary on the national debt, but this one was easily understood and really hits home. I wish I knew more about how it all accumulated and when we really started piling it on.

I hate debt. It feels terrible. I can only imagine what it would feel like to be in charge of a country that is ridiculously in debt.
“Pay the debt thou hast contracted… release thyself from bondage.” (D&C 19:35)

I have no suggestions on how to fix our INSANE amount of debt, but we definitely need to get something worked out. One thing I know for sure is that Mitt Romney saved the SLC Winter Olympics from financial ruin. Maybe, just maybe, Romney could knock off a chunk of our debt…

? Suggestions for eradicating the national debt? (Haha – if it’s a good one, you should probably take it to the top)

i’m a mac.

20 10 2010

I was born and raised on apples (computers at least)

I remember when we had this:

Now I have an iPhone and use an Apple desktop.
I’m hooked – I can’t get enough.
Every time they announce a new product I bemoan the fact that my financial status denies me the ability to be an early adopter.

“We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent…” (Genesis 47:18)
Bills. Bills. Bills.

In case you missed it – Apple made a “Back to the Mac” announcement today basically telling us that they’ve got some fun things for their computers coming out soon.

2 things really stood out to me:

Lion OS. I love that they name there operating systems after large members of the feline family.

A MAC app store. Basically you will be able to buy apps for your computer!
Good call Steve Jobs. Your company is gonna be worth even more once that’s up and running.

Right now, my big wish is to get an iPad.
Oh man, I really want one.

It’s not really in the budget (and by not really, I mean definitely not). But my cousin Ty had a great suggestion: sell some of my crap!
Oooh, KSL, CraigsList, Ebay – pawn shop if I’m really desperate. (I’ve done the pawn shop route before)

It’s kinda nice having all of my junk still strewn about the apartment because it makes it easy for me to see what I can sell.
Ah yes, after scanning my desk (kitchen table) I’ve been quickly reminded that I still have in my possession an engagement ring from a prior (failed) relationship.
I tried selling it right after things went south… but, I didn’t really try to hard.

Now, it’s go time…

? Are you a Mac or PC?


12 10 2010

October 5 – November 1 is a very special time.
It is the ONLY time of the year I will go out of my way to go eat at McDonalds!

It’s Monopoly time!

Everyone in the crew hits up McDonalds as often as possible so that we can collect as many pieces as possible with the hope of getting the elusive pieces necessary to win the $1,000,000 cash prize!

Every year we talk about what we would do with the money.

Pay off debt.

Can you retire on $1,000,000 at the age of 26?

Good question.
My personal finance teacher at BYU would answer with a resounding NO.
He believes that if you retire at the age of 60, you need to have $8,000,000 saved up in order to live for another 25 years without working.

The question really depends on what you plan to do with your money.

“And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.” (Matthew 25:20)

To retire, we would have to turn our $1,000,000 into something greater.
But how?

Investing – most likely.
But I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

For now, I’m going to keep dreaming about what it would be like to have a monopoly stimulus package!

What would I do with the money?
Take a year off. Travel to 50 different countries. Teach breakdance in every country. Photograph and write a book about the entire experience.

? Aside from paying off debt, saving and other practical things, if you had $1,000,000 what would you buy?

first step.

4 10 2010

This is a picture of an envelope.
Inside is a check.

It’s not just any check though – this check represents the first step towards being completely debt-free.
I am so excited about this that I took a picture of the envelope and am now spending my lunch break writing about it.

Leah has some student loans that we will get taken care of and I have my car and some outstanding debt to my parents.
This check is being sent to my parents!

The first of many checks to come.
I’m excited. So excited.

I can’t wait to be debt free.
I hate having things hanging over my head.
It sucks.

“…behold it is my will that you shall pay all your debts.” (D&C 104:78)

Time to get finances in line…

? Are you debt-free, or not – and what tips do you have for avoiding debt?

joint accounts.

25 09 2010

Well, today we finally got around to joining our bank accounts.
Now we are equally poor.

I had one of those moments while I was sitting across from the banker where I realized – wow, I’m married.

Joining bank accounts is serious business.

“For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one…” (Matthew 19:5)

Ok -so the scripture isn’t talking about bank accounts.
But, it still works!

Now it’s time for Leah and I to do a budget and begin paying of the car and old student loans!


? Any helpful suggestions for the newlyweds on creating a budget, or good ways to save?

mark up.

12 07 2010

I’ve worked in several different retail clothing stores (GAP & Victorias Secret) but my time at Blickenstaff’s has taught me something I never learned in clothing…

Buy directly from the maker whenever possible.

The more middle men you throw into the mix the higher the end cost is going to be.

I will not get too specific here (it’s no bueno to throw around your company’s figures) but each time you add in a person in the chain of buyers and sellers your cost shoots up.

Here’s just a small example:

We sell salt water taffy for $8.99 / lb.
You can get salt water taffy online for $17.99 / 5lb.

Yeah. yeah, yeah I know there are shipping costs. Big deal.
Tack on another $10 and you got 5lbs. for $28.
Or in other words $5.60 / lb.

That’s just over half of what you would’ve been paying.
(It does help that when you buy in bulk as well – but that’s a whole different topic).

I sat there at work just wondering about all of the different items I could possibly get from the top of the long line of buyers/sellers.

Not much came to mind.

But it would be awesome if I could just get the wholesale cost for everything I bought.

Does anyone know if that’s even possible?

Anyways, the moral of the taffy story is:

Man who buys candy 3 links down the candy buying/selling chain OVERPAYS for taffy.

Overpaying for taffy isn’t a big deal – BUT since I’m attempting to be more prudent about money these days it obviously hit home.

“…Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge…”” (Proverbs 13:16)

? What items do you try to buy at the top of the chain and where do you go to get them?


23 05 2010

I have been living with family (extended and immediate) since last July.

It’a time to get back to doing my own thing.

I don’t want to do this any more.

*Don’t mistake my desire to move as a lack of gratitude. I’m incredibly grateful. I never would have made it through this past year without the help of others.

BUT – I have never been good at accepting help. In fact I try and avoid as best I can.
I like to be on the helping side, not the helped side.

I feel like I have spent almost a year on the helped side and I’m SO over it.

Agh, I’m just really frustrated right now I guess….

And one frustration leads to another, to another to another to another…. Till finally you feel overwhelmed.
And you feel like this guy –

“Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men…” (D&C 3:3)

? Anyone else have any frustrations at the moment?

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